Papa Emeritus III

Ghost’s Mastermind Files Official Response To Lawsuit, Unmasks Nearly All Former Members


Ghost mastermind Tobias Forge and his legal team have now officially filed a response to the lawsuit brought against him by a number of former members of the band—Simon Söderberg (Alpha), Mauro Rubino (Air), Henrik Palm (Ether) and Martin Hjertstedt (Earth)—over a number of issues.

Among their complaints, were a denied request to have access to the financial records for the band from 2011 to December 31st, 2016. That time period covers the the era of the band where the above musicians were involved with the group.

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The four also alleged that a partnership was in place to distribute proceeds from the band—something Forge continues to deny ever existed. Forge, who appears as Papa Emeritus III and is described as the primary songwriter/member of the band, outlines his side of the dispute extensively in the statement, which can be found below.

In it Forge‘s team assert that none of the members involved in the suit are original members, nor had they ever committed any capital to the venture or been responsible for any of the losses incurred by the band.

It is also stated that the alleged legal partnership mentioned above does not exist and thus he is not obligated to report any of the revenue, etc. to the other members of the band, as they are essentially “musicians for hire” for music created, produced, etc. by Forge himself. Only a handful of tracks are not entirely credited to Forge, with input attributed to producer Klas Åhlund and former member Martin Persner, who is not part of the suit.

Interestingly it is mentioned that various parts for studio albums, etc. were recorded by freelance studio musicians, rather than entirely done by the musicians who filed suit. It is also explained that all members of the band are instructed by Forge how to perform and carry themselves when it comes to the band and that none are considered “irreplaceable” nor “crucial.”

It is further stated that the costs of touring have nearly always “exceeded the income” generated from them, with Forge having used income earned from publishing rights, etc. of “Opus Eponymous“, etc. to guarantee the wages to the other musicians involved with the band. Apparently only earlier this year did the band begin to truly turn a profit from touring.

Along with an in-depth look at the band’s ascent and career, various details are provided on a planned business arrangement and personal negotiations that went on to pay the musicians involved a fixed salary during touring cycles due to their growing concerns. However, it is later revealed that in the end an agreement wasn’t reached with the four musicians allegedly banding together on tour and threatening to leave the trek if Forge did not agree to their terms.

It is further stated that the four musicians eventually signed and agreed to a severance package, though their later actions seemed to display that they didn’t understand that their contractual obligations to the band had ended.

While the statement issued on Forge‘s behalf does express concern that the lawsuit ruined the mystery and anonymity that surrounded the band, it does go on to provide a clear record of all members of the band from their inception up until the end of 2016. That list includes:

Gustaf Lindström (2010 – 2011)
Simon Söderberg (2010 – 2016)
Aksel Holmgren (2010 – 2014)
Martin Persner (2010 – 2016)
Mauro Rubino (2011 – 2016)
Rikard Ottoson (2011 – 2014)
Linton Rubino (2014 – 2015)
Henrik Palm (2015 – 2016)
Marin Hjertstedt (2015 – 2016)
Megan Thomas (2016)

Forge has since recruited another new cast of musicians to back him in the outfit for touring this year. Reddit user Joppe777 has again translated the documents from Swedish, having previously translated the plaintiff’s suit against Forge. You can find those below:

(TF Reply) Main Document – part 1 from Ghost_Lawsuit

(TF Reply) Main document – part 2 from Ghost_Lawsuit

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